Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Scott Aaronson posts a funny political joke.

He was inspired to post it because he wrote, sarcastically, about the need to cut funding for theoretical computer science research, but the sarcasm was lost on most readers.

I think there is a valuable lesson here, but ironically it isn't stated. Sometimes the positions people take are obvious--Aaron is obviously against cutting his own funding--but when people don't explain why, we end up with a lot of confusion.

And a lot of the confusion, in my opinion, is on the part of the person expressing the opinion. If you can't explain why you are against the war, in favor of eating local foods, or want to end trade with China, maybe you shouldn't have a strong opinion.

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